Soccer players should focus on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Soccer games can last up to 90 minutes or more, so players should be able to sprint for 10 yards, rest for 10-20 seconds, and then sprint again.
For 10-15 minutes, focus on getting your heart rate up and the blood flowing in your body. Consider dynamic exercises like leg circles, high knees, soldier kicks, backwards shuffles, carioca, and lateral lunges or shuffles. These are all great warmup options that mimic the demands of your sport.
Building a strong core helps players to make quick sharp turns, and can help prevent common injuries in the leg muscles. Try planks to strengthen your core:
To help prevent injury, make sure you practice these general safety tips:
The most common injuries for soccer players were ligament sprains (33.9%) and fractures (30.3%).2
The most frequently injured body parts were the knee (38.9%), ankle (16.0%), and head/face (11.2%).2
Soccer activities that most regularly lead to severe injury are:2
Ball handling/dribbling (15.4%)
General play (15.0%)
Chasing a loose ball (12.6%)
Sports injury statistics differed by gender:
Female high school soccer players receive almost 40% more concussions than male players (29,000 annually).3
Boys suffered from a higher number of fractures (42.0%) than girls (22.1%).2
Girls had a greater proportion of sprained ligaments (31.4%) than boys (10.9%).2
Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.